PGMA witnesses MOA signing on nutrition between NNC & DOH-ARMM

March 18, 2010 10:14 pm 

LUMBATAN, Lanao del Sur, March 18 — President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Thursday morning witnessed the signing of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the National Nutrition Council (NNC) and the Department of Health (DOH) in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) at the Lanao Agricultural College in Barangay Poblacion.

The President said the agreement ensures that government’s proper nutrition program (PNG) aimed at alleviating malnutrition and hunger, will be sustainably carried out to the smallest political level, the barangays.

The President was welcomed at the landing site, a few minutes walk to the multi-purpose gymnasium of this school, by Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Alonto Adiong Jr., Lumbatan Municipal Mayor Mamintal Razuman, Superintendent of Lanao Agricultural College Arimao Asum, and Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral.

She said her other reason for going around the country is to monitor prices of basic commodities, which aggravates rural poverty and prevents people from getting access to basic nutrition and other prime commodities. She said she brought with her newly-appointed Trade and Industry Secretary Jesli Lapus to help her monitor market prices of basic commodities in ARMM and Western Mindanao.

Created by Presidential Decree No. 491 and reaffirmed by Executive Order No. 234, NNC is government’s policy-making and coordinating body on nutrition.

Another EO of April 2007 directed the NNC to oversee the implementation of the Accelerated Hunger Mitigation Program (AHMP) and to promote AHMP’s good nutrition component in selected priority provinces of the country such as Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, and Tawi Tawi of ARMM.

To institutionalize the fight against hunger and malnutrition, ARMM will establish an office similar to the NNC that will formulate relevant nutrition policies, guidelines and other instruments and will ensure that provincial, city, municipal and barangay nutrition programs are in consonance with the national nutrition policy and program framework.

The MOA was signed by NNC Executive Director Assistant Secretary Maria Bernardita Flores and Dr. Kadil Jojo M. Sinolinding Jr. for DOH-ARMM.

The NNC will transfer to DOH-ARMM P28.251 million to cover requirements for the PGN component of AHMP and operational expenses. The amount will be released to DOH-ARMM in tranches, subject to the submission of fund utilization report verified by the Commission on Audit (COA) resident auditor. (PNA)

FFC/OPS/ssc

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